The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Notes from the Field: Jase Davis '18

Article Type 
Student Intern: Jase Davis '18

Internship Organization: 
Congressman Scott Rigell (VA-02)

In your own words, briefly describe your internship organization and what they do.
As an intern at Congressman Scott Rigell's office, we offer constituent services to the people that reach out to us while making sure the legislative staff is fully prepared to do their jobs.

What is your specific role or major project as an intern?
At Congressman Rigell's office, we are committed to faithfully representing the people of Virginia's second district. My part has been to answer constituent calls and emails, but I have also been involved in doing research for our legislative team. I have fact checked videos, researched court cases, and created graphs for the congressman. I have also gotten very involved with helping the communications director draft tweets and Facebook posts.

How did you feel on the first day of your internship?
I was very nervous. I showed up super early because I wasn't sure how long it would take to get to work. The first orientation from our supervisor was a bit overwhelming since I was afraid of what would happen if I messed up. I realized I just needed to relax and get the job done. On my first day I saw the intern across from me and was honestly intimidated by him. He was from University of Virginia and had been in the office for a few weeks; he just seemed to know how to do everything. As time went on I realized there was no difference in our abilities and I began to prove myself through the first couple of weeks. He and I work together all of the time now.

What is the most rewarding part of the internship experience so far?
The role of the intern is kind of a menial one in the office but I've seen bits and pieces of my work in reports and briefings from the staff. However, I don't think I have had the most rewarding part of my internship yet. I am currently working on some projects on my own that will be presented to the Congressman or the constituents in its entirety. I have a feeling that will be a good moment when I can definitively say when I see something "that is my work."

What is the biggest challenge that have you faced so far, and how did you respond to it?
I have had one major challenge in my internship. The first was that I was not originally trusted with a lot of work at the beginning of the internship. My role was to man the phone while I watched other interns do research work. It was tough to prove my worth to the staff when I wasn't being offered much work to even start. So I took my role with the phones seriously, and I started to ask some of my fellow interns what they were doing when they had extra projects and they would give me parts to do. Soon the staff started to realize I could do good work because of my hand in the random projects assigned to other interns.

What do you hope to achieve by the end of your internship?
I hope to have autonomy on some of my projects with the goal of seeing them presented in their entirety to the Congressman or the constituents.

What practical lessons have you learned in the day-to-day life at your internship?
I'm perpetually worrying so having my own place in the city has added all new sources of stress. I would always wonder if I had turned off the oven or iron or if I had turned the lights off. One day at work I thought I had left my iron on in the morning so I went back home for a bit to double check. Of course the iron was unplugged and there was no need to worry. But it was at that point I decided to prevent this again, and now I have a checklist at the door to make sure everything with the apartment is in the right shape so I don't have to worry.

 

 

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